March 26, 2014 - Forty-one residents attended the last official "Annual Meeting" of Addison Township held March 22, at the township hall.
Supervisor Bruce Pearson addresses the crowd at the final Addison Township Annual Meeting. Photo by Trevor Keiser. (click for larger version)
"This was great attendance and I think that speaks very well of where this township is headed and that's the support this community sees in this board and they are very happy with this board," Pearson said. "I am very pleased with that."
In his third "State-of the-Township" Address, Pearson reaffirmed how "proud" he is to serve Addison Township and its residents.
"I think people know that . . . Addison Township is a very special place," he said. "We have something unique to offer."
Pearson highlighted that Addison home values are on the rise with an increase of 14 percent in SEV (State Equalized Value).
"That tells you what the houses are selling for and what people are paying for them. Also it's an indication to me that we offer something special that people are willing to pay that premium to come and live in Addison Township," he said. "That's a good thing. If we were going down people would be losing their lifesavings and their homes and things (like that)."
People's desire to move into the community "doesn't happen by accident," explained Pearson, who attributed the desire to "good schools, great police department and a terrific fire department."
"I think people also look at your local government. Your local government is an indication of how well your community is doing," he added. "If your people have confidence in your local government, then (other) people realize that and they want to be a part of your community and want to move here."
Every time he goes to meetings or places outside of the township, Pearson said he only hears praise about Addison Township.
"I am very proud to be an ambassador of our township here and I do like to brag about our township everywhere I go," he said. "I tell people they can come visit, but we don't want them all to move in here."
The board once again approved a "sound budget," according to Pearson, who stated the last auditor's report showed over the last two-years government funds have increased $354,894.
"That's what we've been able to save even though our budget said we were going to spend it. We didn't," he noted. "I think this board has been very responsible and has done a very good job."
The biggest responsibility Pearson sees facing the board right now is whether to put money into fixing the current township hall or to consider building a new one (see story on page 12).
"That's a big decision," he said.
Other things in which the board has been instrumental in include raising the standard of living for Addison residents by getting DTE to finally agree to fix Addison's frequent electrical power outages and put in a "looped system," getting all the roads re-graveled, as well as being instrumental in bringing natural gas with Consumer's Energy to township residents and getting grant money to have restrooms built at the Watershed Preserve Park.
Speaking of Parks and Recreation, Pearson said he owes a "debt of gratitude" to Parks Board Chairman Joe Schnur.
"I can't be everywhere, every place. I have a little boy to raise at the same time and he also has special needs," Pearson said. "But here these guys who head up these different departments (and boards), they're just doing terrific job for this township."
While Schnur was grateful for the praise he said he and Pearson have had "plenty of arm-wrestling matches."
"It's not all roses, (but) I like the way he deals (with issues)," Schnur said. "If you have something, he'll work with you. I've worked with a lot of executives over my life, but he is as good as they come – with Bruce I always feel we've done the best we can between the two of us."
Pearson believes "the beauty of the township speaks for itself."
"We have the lakes, we have the horse country, we have the trails, we have a little village, we have historical things, I could go on and on, but one thing we do offer in this township is a little bit of peace and tranquility and I hope less government," he added. "We try not to enact a lot of ordinances (and) a bunch of rules and regulations. We try to let people live the way they'd like to live."
According to Pearson, the township would not be what it is without the people who live in it and volunteer their time to making it a better community.
"We're all working towards one goal and that's the betterment of Addison Township," he said. "Every day, I am amazed (by) what people do for Addison Township and I am humbled by that. I am also humbled being able to serve you and having the support that you give this board."
"This board is one of the best boards I've ever seen and I've worked all over the county and seen all the other township boards," continued Pearson. "We do very, very well together (and) I think it's because we have love for Addison Township and want what's best for the future."
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.